Corporal Jamie Tanner pictured while serving in Afghanistan.
Corporal Jamie Tanner pictured while serving in Afghanistan. supplied

He's taking on the Taliban

HE’S PART of the Australian Army’s war on terror. His job is to fight the Taliban, protect the locals and train the Afghan Army.

It’s a heavy responsibility for Corporal Jamie Tanner, a former Lismore resident.

But it’s a job his family back home has a greater understanding of, following an in-depth report by the ABC’s Four Corners program aired on Monday night.

Corporal Tanner and his unit, Mentoring Team Alpha, which is part of Mentoring Task Force 1 in the Miribad Valley, were featured on the program and it highlighted the difficult situation the young soldiers face.

“It’s certainly good to know what they’re going through,” Tony Tanner, Cpl Tanner’s father, told The Northern Star.

“We don’t get to hear too much, just little bits and pieces. But we always knew it was a pretty complex job.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t know how they come back and are not raving lunatics after you see all they go through.”

The report explained the restrictions facing the troops – such as not firing until being fired upon – but also on the uncertainty of who the enemy is and the threat from the Taliban which comes in many forms, from direct assaults to roadside bombs.

“We were so happy to see him well,” Mr Tanner said.

“I’ve only been able to talk to him for about one-and-a-half minute since he left.

“We’re so proud of what he’s doing over there, but the next four months will be pretty tough to wait for him to come home.”

Cpl Tanner, a former Kadina High student, was deployed in February.

It is his fifth overseas deployment.

He has served previously in East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan and Malaysia.

It is expected the 27-year-old will be given a job training troops on his return.

The report on Four Corners, by veteran journalist Chris Masters, showed Sappers Jacob Moerland, whose fiancée Kezia Mulcahy lives in Woodenbong, and Darren Smith, who were killed later. The second report will be screened next Monday.



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